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Lifting the lid on global environmental politics

Press release issued: 19 February 2002

Lifting the lid on global environmental politics

One of the world's leading experts on international environmental issues is to give a series of free public talks at the University of Bristol next month.

The lecturer will be Pekka Haavisto, a former Environment Minister for Finland and a key figure in the United Nations Environment Programme. He led scientific missions to investigate the environmental impact of recent conflicts in the Balkans. Currently he is a Visiting Researcher at the Finnish Institute for International Affairs and an adviser to the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in Johannesburg later this year.

Each of the six, hour-long lectures will start at 1 pm and will be followed by a discussion. The venue will be the University's Wills Memorial Building in Queen's Road.

The first lecture, on March 11, will focus on whether global agreements on the environment make a difference. On March 13, the topic will be the politics of climate change. The third lecture will take place on March 15 and will concentrate on the environmental dimension of trade negotiations. Environmental problems in central and eastern Europe will come under the spotlight on March 18, while the lecture on March 20 will look at the impact of war on the environment. The final lecture, on March 22, will preview the World Summit on the environment in Johannesburg.

The lectures have been arranged by the University's Sustainable Futures Group and the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Vala Ragnarsdottir, Professor of Environmental Geochemistry at the University, was part of Mr Haavisto's Depleted Uranium Assessment Team in Kosovo in 2000. She said: 'Pekka is an internationally respected authority on some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Anyone with an interest in such matters should make a point of coming along to listen to and talk with him. Members of the public will be very welcome.'

Admission to the lectures will be free. Space will be limited, and you are advised to book a seat in advance by contacting Vala Ragnarsdottir (tel 954 5432; email

For more information about the Sustainable Futures Group, visit

For more information about the Institute for Advanced Studies, visit

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Tuesday, 19-Feb-2002 17:46:58 GMT

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